Best Auto Repair: Portola Valley Garage


The recognition for favorite auto repair shop for 2015 goes to Portola Valley Garage, a specialist in the repair of European vehicles. In an online testimonial, a BMW owner called the management "knowledgeable, straight-shooters and a pleasure to work with." Owner Tom Ramies says the garage is now a dealer for Bosch automotive parts and for Dinan, a maker of performance parts for BMW vehicles.
4170 Alpine Road, Portola Valley | 851-7442

Best Barber: Moses Hairstyling


Some clients of Moses Hairstyling, winner of the Readers' Choice award in the Barber category, refer to Moses Moreno as the "hair magician" and even their personal "therapist." His hair-grooming process and attention to detail is what he is known for, but his personality and care for each client is what keeps them loyal. Clients say he leaves them feeling refreshed, polished and confident about their appearance. What he's most proud of, he says, is the difference he makes in the lives of his clients and the friendships he builds along the way.
1110 Crane St, Menlo Park | (650) 322-8822.

Best Day Spa: Sense


The award for day spa goes to Sense in the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel complex. The natural surroundings of the spa, with gardens and views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, make this a popular destination for local residents. In operation since 2009, the spa has 13 treatment rooms and men's and women's locker rooms, each with a relaxation area, wet lounge and outdoor courtyard with whirlpool. At the center of the spa, a co-ed relaxation lounge opens into a courtyard with a fountain. Sense spa has a Duet Suite with outdoor garden and whirlpool, movement studio with group fitness classes, and hair and nail salons. The fitness center offers a fitness and wellness suite from Technogym
2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park | (650) 561-1500


This is the first time Ladera Cleaners has won a Readers' Choice award. Often you have to go to several places to get the gown fitted properly, repair the moth hole in your blazer and get your laundry and dry cleaning done. Ladera Cleaners, located in the Ladera Country Shopper mall, does it all, from simple laundry to alterations and re-weaving. Locals who have been using Ladera Cleaners for years say they started because of the location but stayed because of the service.
3130 Alpine Road, Portola Valley | (650) 854-2291

Best Fitness classes, Gym and Yoga: Studio Rincon


Studio Rincon swept the fitness field by racking up Readers' Choice awards in three categories: fitness classes, gym and yoga. Manager Libby Shelton says customers like the tight-knit community of participants who take its classes, which range from Pilates and Zumba to various levels of yoga. Studio Rincon continues to add classes to its schedule, including a new boot camp class at 6:30 a.m. for those who want an all-body workout. There are different levels of fitness classes based on the participant's age and condition. For the youth, there are summer camps and fall dance classes starting the day after Labor Day.
3536 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park | (650) 861-0242


The choice of Almanac readers in 2015 in two categories — florist and nursery is Ladera Garden & Gifts, located in the Ladera Country Shopper mall. Co-owner Mercedes Navarro attributes the popularity of her business to a combination of a variety of plants and gifts, excellent service and hard-working employees with good attitudes. The store's appeal may also have something to do with a continuous influx of new items, Ms. Navarro said. "Maybe that's part of it," she said. "You don't see (the new items) in other places."
3130 Alpine Road, Suite 380, Portola Valley | (650) 854-3850


Olive Hill Salon has been voted favorite hair salon for the third year in a row. Owner Danielle Casa says Olive Hill currently has six stylists "who are always going the extra mile for our guests." She and her employees participate in charity events for the environment and other causes. This year, it was an Earth Day cut-a-thon to raise money to provide clean water for people who live without it. Also, there was a breast cancer research fundraiser. Next year the salon plans to repeat those and add two more fundraisers, she says. "We work hard to make everyone's experience the best it can be," Ms. Casa says. "We have many new guests walking through our door each week and we want them to feel as welcome as our clients we've known for years."
2920 Woodside Road, Woodside | (650) 851-1150


The award for favorite hotel goes to Rosewood Sand Hill, carrying on its seven-year Readers' Choice winning streak. Rosewood continues to be a leading hotel, dining and social destination for Silicon Valley. Named a five-star hotel by Forbes Travel Guide this year, the property's 121 guestrooms and suites, award-winning spa and Michelin-starred dining experience at Madera (the hotel's signature restaurant) make an appealing combination for the area's entrepreneurs as well as business and leisure travelers from around the world.
2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park | (650) 961-1500


Hanh Hong and her mother Mai are co-owners of A Touch of Elegance in Menlo Park. They are going into their 16th year offering manicures, pedicures, waxing, and eye lash extensions with expert service. Hahn and Mai understand how important their customers are and always call them by name and know their needs. Their salon is dressed in a sea of orchids — initially Mai's hobby and now an opportunity for customers to buy them.
1150 Crane St., Menlo Park | (650) 321-0679

Best Plumbing: Guy Plumbing


Guy Plumbing, a family owned and operated business now in its 67th year, is the winner, once again, of the favorite plumbing honors in the Readers' Choice polling. With the benefit of four generations of plumbing expertise, Guy Plumbing is an established member of a referral network of trusted local services and vendors, Showroom Manager Camille Guy said. A staff knowledgeable in plumbing services and parts, and a showroom with a substantial inventory of high quality products rounds out the picture. With the ongoing drought, water-conservation devices are a particular focus for 2015, Ms. Guy says.
1265 El Camino Real, Menlo Park | (650) 323-8421


AAA Travel Services, winner of the Readers' Choice award for favorite travel agency, aims to satisfy the varying needs of customers, whether the destination is domestic or international, says John Pesqueria, an AAA travel agent. AAA pays attention to detail, he says, not just in booking flights and hotels, but in providing information, such as tour books and the AAA specialty, maps. Travel agent Linda Williams points out that dealing with an established company like AAA gives customers comfort. They also like the benefits, such as discounts on hotels and on particular vacation destinations.
430 Forest Ave., Palo Alto | (650) 798-3200.